Children & Matrimonial Finance

Chambers’ family team is renowned for the strength and depth of its practitioners in both public and private child law and family finance law.

Members have appeared in some of the most significant reported cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, with many Members being accredited in the Legal 500.

Covid 19 Procedures

Business open as Unusual

The Family Team at Pallant are all functioning remotely and attending conferences and court hearings via telephone or video call. We have access to all of the latest technology, including corporate accounts with Zoom which we have found to be the most user friendly and interactive service. We are able to set up court hearings, advocates’ meetings, mediations, arbitrations, conferences and multi-party hearings as required. There is no additional costs to our clients for using these services.

 

We are here to help

Our large administration team are all trained on how to make the most of the remote technology and how it can work to keep cases progressing as seamlessly as possible. Zoom offer excellent tutorials on their website, which are helpful, but please do call the team with any tech related queries, our aim is to enable us all to get the most out of the facilities we have and that are available.

 

Knowledge bank

As remote hearings and meetings are certain to be part of our immediate future we have already created a knowledge bank resource. We have collated practical and technical feedback following remotely conducted meetings and hearings this week. This will be circulated amongst the Pallant Team to make sure that our clients experience the best possible service, assured that we are working alongside them. We are more that happy to share these experiences with our professional clients and would welcome feedback from your experiences to further enhance the quality of service we are able to offer.

 

Bundles

We have systems in place which enable us to hold bundles on our secure remote server and we also hold an account with Bundledocs.  Our clients are welcome to remotely use our systems to create and store the e-bundles that are now required for all court hearing. Alternatively our Admin team are here to work with you to get the job done. Please call the Clerks on either 023 8080 3008 or 01243 784538 or email clerks@pallantchambers.co.uk and the team would be pleased to assist.

 

Do feel free to call and keep in touch

Our team of 22 specialist barristers have always been user friendly. We realise that as most hearings are now going to be undertaken remotely you will not be bumping into the Pallant Team at court to catch up or talk about cases generally. We are therefore encouraging our clients to pick up the telephone and call the team to discuss any query they may have. We are here to help and make this tricky time as easy as it can be.

Children (Public Law)

Chambers has a dedicated children (public law) team that prides itself on being able to offer and experienced, proactive, efficient and approachable service.

Individual members are regularly instructed by Local Authorities, Guardians and parents to assist with complex care proceedings. Chambers provides advice and assistance to those involved in Child Protection, from the initial concerns until conclusion. Chambers is highly regarded for its consistently strong team and the ability of all members to provide empathic advice and support to parents and family members involved in often protracted proceedings. Chambers provides expertise in cases involving NAI, NAHI, fabricated and induced illness, child sex abuse and adoption.

Recent instructions include:

  • High Court care order proceedings relating to the medical treatment of a gravely ill 10-month-old child and the wishes of her parents who had learning disabilities
  • High Court fact finding concerning allegations of physical abuse, inter-sibling sexual abuse and sexualised behaviour
  • High Court fact finding following the death of an 8-month old baby

Children (Private Law)

Chambers’ Children (private law) deals with private law disputes, including applications to remove from the jurisdiction, contact and residence disputes requiring Finding of Fact hearings, Specific Issue Orders relating to medical treatment and education and emergency applications. In recognition of the high emotional and financial costs of family conflict, Team members are equally skilled in negotiating realistic settlements at all stages in the proceedings. Chambers is also able to offer a full mediation service.

Recent instructions include:

  • A successful appeal to the Court of Appeal that a judge had failed to give sufficient reasons why shared care arrangements in which three children spent equal time with each parent during term-time was in their best interests
  • Successfully resisting an appeal to the Court of Appeal that a judge had erred in her order for contact arrangements
  • Successfully resisting an appeal to the Court of Appeal that a judge had erred in refusing to direct contact with a child’s father then there had been no contact for several years and the child was opposed to contact

Family Finance

Chambers’ dedicated family finance team undertakes a broad range of financial cases with team including members recommended in the Legal 500. The team represents high net worth individuals and more modest means with equal vigour and sensitivity.

As well as acting for clients in relation to financial matters ancillary to a petition to divorce, members of the team include those who also practice in property, trust and business law allowing the team to give focused, specialist advice in the most intricate of disputes and cases which may fall outside of the traditional ancillary relief ambit.

The team’s expertise extends to agricultural disputes, private companies, international and offshore assets, partnerships and trusts; ante and post nuptial agreements; co-habitation agreements; same–sex separations; intervention applications; claims under TOLATA and financial remedies under Schedule 1 of the Children Act; injunctive relief, enforcement and variation.

Our barristers can provide specialist advice in conference, in writing or by telephone and can offer a highly skilled advocacy and negotiation service at all stages of the process, including intervention, injunctive relief, enforcement and variation, mediation and arbitration.

Our team prides itself on having the right balance between giving pragmatic advice and adopting a client-friendly approach whilst we endeavour to provide a cost effective service without sacrificing quality.

Recent instructions include:

  • Proceedings relating to post separation royalty payments for books written during the marriage and how they were to be apportioned following death
  • Proceedings involving the termination of joint lives periodical payments where the wife argued her personal health circumstances prevented her from seeking employment

Domestic Violence & Injunctions

Chambers’ family team is able to provide advice and representation in relation to all aspects of personal protection and is adept at dealing with the speed and sensitivity required by such applications.

The team has significant experience of non-molestation and occupation orders.

Trust of Land Act (TOLATA) and Schedule 1 Claims

Pallant Chambers is fortunate to possess a deep well of expertise across its civil team from which to draw upon when assisting clients with matters related to the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

Members of the team are regularly instructed in disputes over the co-ownership of land and the availability of proprietary estoppel. Our members have considerable experience advising and litigating on the various possible trusts of land which can arise in relation to substantial assets such as the family home, including common intention constructive trusts, resulting trusts and joint venture constructive trusts.

Our team is able to provide advice and representation in relation to all TOLATA matters. Members regularly appear in the High Court, County Court and First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) on behalf of both Claimants and Defendants to such actions.

Pallant Chambers also benefits from a broad range of expertise within the family team concerning proceedings under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989, which gives Chambers the flexibility and pooled knowledge to advise on whether TOLATA or Schedule 1 is the appropriate enactment to use, and the steps to take where conflicting claims are made under both enactments.

Recent instructions include:

  • TOLATA trials including claims for occupation rent
  • Orders for sale
  • Beddoe applications for proposed TOLATA proceedings by the deceased’s estate
  • Advising in respect of a co-ownership dispute involving multiple investment properties purchased by an unmarried couple
  • Advising in respect of a co-ownership dispute between siblings
  • Intervention and joinder of third parties in Financial Remedy proceedings

 

ADR - Arbitration

Family Law Arbitration

Arbitration is a means by which Family Law disputes can be determined by a fully trained Arbitrator. Arbitration is increasingly being used to determine arrangements in Family Law proceedings.

At the outset, the parties agree the identity of the Arbitrator and the nature and scope of the dispute to be decided. The parties and Arbitrator then consider whether the hearing will be dealt with by way of an oral hearing, on paper only, or, in appropriate cases, a combination of oral/paper hearing.

Arbitration can be used to determine contested matters in both Children Act and Financial Remedies cases. It can be used to resolve discreet issues, such as the terms of a letter of instruction to an expert or who should pay the costs of an expert report, to much wider issues such as with whom a child should live and how the matrimonial assets are to be divided between the parties.

One significant advantage of Arbitration is that it is generally possible to obtain a hearing much more rapidly than waiting for a Court hearing. Given the significant pressures on the Family Court, if a hearing is adjourned, it is not uncommon for the re-listed hearing to take place many months later. If a case is fully prepared, Arbitration could take place swiftly, potentially in a matter of days. This reduces the emotional and financial impact of having to wait many more months for a decision.

Another significant benefit is that the parties can be fully involved in selecting a date/time which is convenient to them for the arbitration to take place. Our Arbitrators within Chambers are happy to accommodate in person hearings or remote hearings if preferred.

The Arbitration will take place pursuant to the Arbitration Act 1996. Recent case law (Haley v Haley [2020] EWCA Civ 1369) has confirmed that contested awards are subject to the same test as decisions made within Court proceedings, i.e. the decision will not be overturned unless it can be shown to be “wrong”. This gives parties the security of knowing that the decision made in an Arbitration will be regarded by the Courts in the same way as if it were the decision of the Court.

The Arbitrator must have a minimum of 10 years’ post qualification practising in Family Law and will have completed a programme of training and assessment by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Clients can therefore be assured that the Arbitrator will have a high level of knowledge and be highly skilled in the area they are Arbitrating.

If you have any questions about Arbitration, or are considering whether Arbitration may be a suitable means of resolution in your case, please do not hesitate to contact Alister Williams, our Senior Clerk, to discuss further.